And The Hunt Begins!

After one has been able to enjoy the life of a student, most are forced to face “the real world” (so to speak.) Ironically, reality seldom involves Algebra, Trigonometry or the ability to hit the volleyball over the net with a perfectly executed serve. One cannot truly be labelled an adult until they are exposed to the gruelling adventure that is JOB HUNTING.

Graduation marks the end of an era. Once you walk up that stage and get that diploma, you’re on your own. Naturally, those that graduate with top marks get the most job offers. They are the gods of the hunt. As they busy themselves with shopping for the proper attire, the mere mortals step off that platform and type up their resumes with a flair that would put Jane Austen to shame. Despite what people might say, first impressions do last. Thus begins the tedious task of highlighting possible career options as well as the mental calculation of efficient employment hunting routes.

Here in the Philippines, more than half the population rely on public transport.  The lucky ones with cars show up for an interview with a dazzling smile, a perfectly put together outfit and impeccable personal hygiene. The ones that struggle for a seat in the jeepney at six in the morning to make it in time for an interview at eight tend to develop unnecessary sweat stains and rumpled clothing. Not a pleasant sight but sometimes unavoidable.

Regardless of your personal circumstances, you start the day with hope in your heart and a spring in your step. By 6:00pm, you hear the echo of the pounding of your feet, the growling of your empty tummy as well as the slumped position of your shoulders. Day 1, no luck. You go home, tuck yourself in for the night, wake up in the morning and the cycle begins again.

The direction of your hunt should seem pretty clear. ALL nurses end up working in hospitals, ALL tourism graduates land jobs in airlines or travel agencies, ALL engineers and architects join or start their own firms, ALL teachers get to share their hard earned knowledge with the next generation and every single cow in this world can fly to the moon and back. Impossible? Well so is that ridiculous notion of everyone landing their dream job.

A friend of mine studied nursing for 6 years. That’s 6 years of sleepless nights and hard hitting exams. At present, she works as a call centre agent for a multi-national company. Another friend took up Culinary and Hospitality Management in college. She is currently waiting tables at a restaurant in Singapore. I seriously doubt if these were the careers they had in mind when they worked their butts off to graduate. Unfortunately, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

We should all be so lucky to get a job that we like much less a job that we actually love. We’re never really certain where life will take us. One day you’re ready to tackle the world with a vengeance but the minute you don’t get your way, all is lost and everything is dreary once again.

This world holds so many brilliant minds. The sad part is, only a few will be given the chance to actually shine. Whether we want to admit it or not, there aren’t enough positions in this world to accommodate everyone’s wants and dreams.

Job hunting is a battle against hundreds, sometimes, thousands of people vying for the same spot. You think you stand out? Well, other people in that same line you’re in think the exact same thing about themselves. Will you be the lucky one? You’ll just have to wait and see.

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The Wanderer and the Little Princess

I was waiting for my friend Gypsy (yes that’s her real name) in a café the other day. It’s been a while since she and I have seen each other so I was pretty excited. It wasn’t long before I saw the mass of red hair she warned me about. She recently had it done and apparently, it takes a while for the actual colour to surface. That day, she walked towards me with hair similar to the colour of a fire engine. I admit, I bit the sides of my cheeks and looked away pretty quickly so she wouldn’t see the grin spreading across my face.

As my shoulders were going up and down from my apparent mirth, I was distracted by a shrill shriek, “Ninang Jing” I turned and saw my 6 year old godchild Shani (although she says she’s 6 ½ now) barrelling towards me, a huge smile plastered on her face. She leaps into my open arms and says, “You still feel like a pillow” (gee, thanks) and proceeds to plant a slobbery kiss on my cheek before running off to look at the menu of the café.

Gypsy then gives me a big hug and I inhale the nasty chemical-ish smell of her crazy red hair. She moves back, sees the expression on my face and says, “Don’t start! Mom already gave me an earful last Tuesday.”  I put on my most clueless expression, looked straight into her eyes and said, “What? This is wonderful! Call of the search! I’ve found Nemo.”  She rolls her eyes, whacks my arm with her hand bag and walks to the counter to place her order. From our table I could see Shani bouncing up and down the side of the counter engaging one of the baristas in a story about Jess, her purple stuffed rabbit.

Shani had barely settled into a comfortable position on the couch beside me before Gypsy  launched into an all-out, animated story telling of the past 2 years of her life. She talked about backpacking through Europe and about visiting Malaysia, Alaska, Phuket and Brazil. She talked about all the interesting people she met (mostly men by the way) and the different cuisines she was able to try (she and I are both foodies)

Gypsy seemed so worldly that I felt like a country mouse in comparison. How is it that she and I are the same age yet she seemed to have been able to immerse herself in a lot more adventures than I have? Granted, she has yet to step into the hallowed halls of a University but I had to wonder; did she choose a better path than I did?

As these thoughts coursed through my already frazzled mind, Shani pulls herself up and hands me her iPad (yes, this 6 year old kid has an iPad. I roll my eyes at the injustice) and says, Ninang, you have to answer all the questions I listed honestly and truthfully so help you God.” I glanced at Gypsy for help. My friend, being the wonderful creature that she is, sticks her tongue out at me, smiles, pulls out her iPhone and starts a game of Draw Something (which reminds me, I have got to get into that game!) Left with no other choice but to comply to a 6 year olds demand, I smile down at Shani and scan the questions she listed down. (I later found out that Gypsy had already answered the same questions a few days back which explains the sticking out of the tongue)

 

PRINCESS SHANI’S TREASURE QUESTIONS!

  1. If you had to kiss a prince, would he be a pig, a fish or a frog? (Can’t he be human instead? What happened to that option)
  2. If Peter Pan came to your window, would you fly away with him forever? (I’d miss my family too much. If they could come along, then why not?)
  3. If you had to eat chocolate forever, would you choose Snickers or Butterfinger? (I guess I’ll starve because I’m not too crazy about either one)
  4. If you were a princess, would you be Cinderella or Snow White? (Neither. I’m more of an Ariel, Jasmine girl)
  5. If Barney asked to be your best friend, would you say yes? (Probably not. I kinda think he’s a little creepy plus, I’m pretty happy with my human best friends)
  6. If you could be a superhero, would you be a mermaid or a fairy? (What happened to the Justice League and the Avengers and all their cool super powers? Can’t I be one of them instead?)
  7. If I tell you a secret, will you promise not to tell Mommy? (Okay. – then she leans towards me and whispers, “Mommy has stinky feet.” HAHAHAHA!!!)
  8. Would you live in Disneyland forever? (YES! YES! YES!)
  9. Who’s your favorite cartoon character? (Winnie the Pooh! :D)
  10. Who’s your favorite Barbie? (There’s more than one Barbie now?!)
  11. Who is your Prince Charming? (I’ll let you know the second I find out kiddo. 😉 )

Questions made by Shani and Lana (her Mom) de Leon

 

That was some list huh?! I asked Lana about it after and she said it was all Shani. She just changed the spelling but those questions came straight from that little girls funky and colorful little mind. I felt a tinge of pride at how amazing this kid is turning out to be.

Truth is, as much as I loved being able to hang out with Gypsy again after all these years, my favorite part of the afternoon was my little conversations with Shani. There’s just something about a mind of a little kid that sets them apart from everyone else. It’s refreshing to be able to see the world the way they do. None of the bad stuff, only the good.

Thank you Shani for teaching this big lug a thing or two about setting your mind free and letting it wander for a while. One of these days I shall join you in Shanisia (her imaginary world) Don’t grow up too fast okay? 🙂

Summing up and smooth escapes…

These past few days have been a whirlwind of activities so forgive me for not being able to check-in sooner. So much to do yet so little time to do it all. *sigh* 🙂

A lot has happened the past 7 days (warning bells clanging in your head.) Before you click that red X on the upper right hand corner of your screen, let me ease your mind by saying I won’t go blabbering about every single detail. I’d rather not have brain dead readers who don’t really care about what I had for lunch this past week (because none of them have really been a feast for the eyes) or about the fact that I executed the tree pose (for non yoga fans like myself, that’s apparently a basic yoga posture) for a full 3 minutes before I toppled over. 🙂

3 key points to this week. I’ve basically divided my time studying for finals (and I see my Mom rolling her eyes as she is reading this 😛 ) hanging out with friends and family and indulging my sudden voracious appetite for reading. To sum it all up, the days have come and gone without any major hitches. For that, I am beyond grateful. 🙂

 

To elaborate on the subject of reading and of just how starved I’ve been for books, in the 7 days since my last entry, I have gone through 3 “no brainer” novels and I have just started on my 4th one 30 minutes ago. Now before any of you fly off the handle about my “no brainer” comment, I’d just like to point out that I don’t mean anything bad by it. Quite the contrary actually. To me, “no brainer” novels translate to pick-me-up books for when I want to just plop down on a comfy chair with a cup of coffee, zone out and read the day away. At the risk of sounding shallow, I have to admit, I rather enjoy carefree moments like that. 🙂

To end this long overdue entry, I leave you with some fun quotes that I’ve encountered these past 7 days. I hope you enjoy them and I’ll see you all on the flip side! CHEERS! 😀

“Remember, it’s always better to be the smartass rather than the dumbass.”

 

“Experience is something you get… after you need it.”

 

“Learn from the mistakes of others you won’t have time to make them all your self”

 

No shame in being POTTER-fied!!!

It was approximately 13 years ago when I first picked up Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Being a 10 year old kid (at the time) of a Mom who flies to and from London almost every year, I always, ALWAYS looked forward to the little presents she’d bring back. 23 years later (which is my current age. My brother apparently thinks I should make my age clearer), she has yet to disappoint (which I doubt she will.) The first 3 books of the Harry Potter series however, was probably one of, if not THE BEST gift she ever brought back.

I’m a Harry Potter kid and I hold no shame in that. Some of my friends call me geeky or nerdy. At the beginning, I would have Petrificus Totalus-ed the hell out of them but I’ve learned to live with it. 🙂 I don’t really get what the big whoop is anyway. Some people love Anime, some people are Trekies and there are the Star Wars Nerds (which I am a part of as well) but Harry Potter is, by far, my biggest obsession.

 

Do I re-read the series? HELL YEAH! It’s still my favorite of the bunch. Yeah I love to read and I’ve gone through quite a few books in my time (including a handful of great series) but HP still holds a special place in my heart. 😀

That being said, I’m embarrassed to say that it took me almost 4 years after the release of the last Harry Potter book to actually pick up that final novel. We bought the book the first week it was released and yet I read it just before Deathly Hallows Part 1 came out in theatres. My brother (an equally emphatic Potter lover) literally started reading the minute the novel fell into his clutches. I, on the other hand, refuse to succumb to temptation. Little by little, spoilers started popping up here and there. By the end of the 1st month, I basically knew the gist of the entire book.

Was I disappointed? Not really. I can’t expect the whole world to stop spinning just because I refused to pick up that final book. Besides, I’d like to think that I interpret things a tad bit differently than other people so I may just dig up something from the story that others haven’t (this was the arrogant side of me.) If you’re curious to find out if I did find something amazingly new… The answer would be… Probably not. Haha. 😀

Fellow Potter lovers asked me why I put off reading the book for so long. In all honesty, I put it off because I refused to let that era end. Yes it ended world-wide but, maybe if I didn’t read it, time would stop for me and this particular part of my life would freeze. The kid in me (actually, even the adult side of me) refused to let go. Unfortunately, my postponing of the last novel did not stop Dobby from dying nor did it bring Dumbledore back to life. The world went on and somewhere along the way, I realized that I had to too. So a week before the movie was due out, I picked up the book and I started to read.

 

Tears were spilled and my heart ached not just because of untimely deaths but because of the inevitable end to my personal Wizarding World. I felt like I was losing a part of myself that I was trying so hard to hang on to. I was losing so much more than just a book. I was letting go of the thing that gave so much life and excitement to my imagination. I was parting ways with these fictional characters I’ve come to label as friends. 😦

To J.K. Rowling I say, thank you for filling my head with all of these fantastic thoughts. They may be fictional (or are they?! 😛 ) but they’ve become part of some of my best childhood memories. Thank you for being such a wonderful blessing.

To Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest of the gang I say, thank you for taking me with you on all of your adventures (as if you had much of a choice.) I’ve grown up imagining your world and, at some point, I wanted to live in it with all of you. Thank you for giving me such joy in the simplest of things and for highlighting how important family and friends are in life. It’s been a great ride and I will forever be grateful.

This isn’t a goodbye. Years from now, if and when I am blessed with my own kids, they’ll get to share in Harry’s adventures too. By that time I’m sure authors will think of some other character to fill their pages and they’ll be some other world so fantastic that it’ll fill the dreams of the next generation. For me though, it’ll never change…

It’ll always be HARRY POTTER. 😀

Harry Potter: Is this all real..? Or is it just happening inside my head?

Professor Dumbledore: Of course it’s happening inside your head, Harry. But why then should it mean that it’s not real?”

Confessions of a Seething Daughter

WARNING: Complete ranting ahead. I apologize in advance.

I’ve been on a writing strike for a while. Not because I want to… I would love nothing more than to indulge my reading and my writing, but alas… Every writer goes through their rainy and messed up moments. My train of thought has made a temporary detour, and my mind has been blank the last couple of days, hence, the completely random last entry dated the 4th of February.

Today, however, the train was jolted into locomotion by a very irritating and downright spiteful creature. No names shall be mentioned although I must say I have taken quite a strong dislike to a certain type of flower for the sheer reason of her carrying the same name. (To this I say TO THE FLOWER, “You poor, poor blossom”)

Let me start by saying that I have ZERO respect for people who talk crap about other people behind their back. I’m also pissed as hell at people who promise to do something and end up screwing you over in the long run. Basically, people who have the word FAKE invisibly tattooed on their forehead MAKE-MY-BLOOD-BOIL.

Trust me when I say, I’m not an angry person. I’m actually quite pleasant most of the time. What irks me to no end is when certain people mess with the people I love. In this case, my Mom.

Golden Rule: Never mess with a person’s Mom. NEVER!

The funny thing is, this creature of darkness, this bitter shell of a woman… She’s a Mother herself. And to you I say… What sort of example are you setting for your daughter? With the way things are going and with the despicable people she’s exposed to every single day, I wouldn’t be surprised if she turns out to be just as wicked as you…

Stop trying to make my Mother look bad because it isn’t going to work. My Mom has proven time and time again, how hardworking, honest and incredible she is. You, on the other hand, are too busy chasing after your fluttery dreams of a happily ever after with your less than perfect Prince Charming (I use this term loosely, if at all) and your eyes that are way too far apart to even be on the same face. Speaking of that, I also suggest you see someone about that creepy face fetish of yours. The one where you assume the camera loves your face so you take dozens of photographs of yourself from every possible angle… Not working for you at all. That’s just soooo lame! Please don’t think so highly of yourself because you end up looking like such a social climbing loser.

You better look closely at that woman staring back at you in the mirror before you start blabbing and yammering on and on. You sound worse than a brainless Dodo.

— Honey, you shouldn’t have made such an effort trying to hide who you are because the snake will crawl out eventually. I have said my peace and I am so done with you.

 

Guilty Pleasures

Everyone has guilty pleasures. Some people are hooked on afternoon soap operas, others love pickles with ice cream (trust me, I have a friend who just LOVES the stuff) and still others read those cheesy romance pocketbooks that have half naked couples plastered on the front cover and are 60-80 pages long (again a friend of mine swears by them) Regardless, everyone has a “deep dark secret” they would rather keep hidden from the world. Not because they don’t enjoy it. Given the chance, they’d probably waste the day away indulging themselves. They hide it because they’re embarrassed. (Not exactly mortified but embarrassed nonetheless)

There will always be people who won’t agree with your tastes. Some might think you’re boring and others might just label you as weird. As much as I would like to think I can do no wrong when it comes to the books I read and the shows I watch, I have to say that I too have guilty pleasures. I have labelled them as such because, as much as I love them and know that a lot of other people (mostly women) are enamoured by them, my friends aren’t as crazy about them as I am. In fact, most (if not all) aren’t even interested. My guilty pleasures are Vampire stories. I was hooked on the Twilight series for the longest time. I kept reading and re-reading the books until I felt like my eyes were going to pop out of their sockets. (I’ve outgrown them though. I only read them once a month now. 🙂 ) I’m gaga about the House of Night series and I was crazy about the Vampire Academy books as well. (Crap! I’m getting geekier and geekier by the second.) I also admit to being hopelessly in love with Damon Salvatore from the Vampire Diaries and I did follow the 1st season of True Blood. Basically, I have become your typical bandwagon fanatic.

Being true to my fanatic title… I have made a poem (YES a poem!) It’s in the supposed perspective of Damon from Vamp Diaries (again I reiterate my hopeless devotion to a fictional character.) To those who don’t watch the Vamp Diaries and haven’t figured it out yet, Damon is a vampire.

So to all the haters, hate away. I couldn’t care less. To all my fellow crusaders (it sounded more regal 🙂 ), may you find some sort of enjoyment from this entry. And to my family, who will inevitably be reading this post, please don’t disown me. 😀

TIMELESS

Running late, I’m out of time
The joys of childhood forever sublime
Hundreds of moons sink and rise to the sky
The truth I can no longer deny

You see it in my eyes, the stories of old
The legend of ages too impossible to behold
Yet seeing is not always to believe
For the eyes are just as easily deceived

A touch will not completely suffice
For everything, one must pay a certain price
I live my life forever alone
A heart that once beat, now turns to stone

I keep the beast locked deep inside
Reality and fiction border on the great divide
Buried under thousands of years
Only able to weep crystal tears

I cannot give in to the thirst I feel
What I am shouldn’t even be real
A thousand more lives as a monster in the night
My fate is sealed… I no longer wish to fight.

Smart is overrated!

I don’t think I’m stupid. I’m slow at some point but, I’m definitely not stupid. I won’t be able to answer the big questions at the drop of the hat but… Here are some things I actually do know…

I know what it’s like to be happy, happy in all ways and in all things.

I understand the importance of time. I know that once it’s gone, you can never get it back.

I know how gripping inspiration is and how it can help and encourage you to grow and expand your horizons

I know the value of friendship. I am thankful each and every day for all the people that have been sent to ease my having to pass through troubled times..

I know how it feels to cry. I cry because of pain, because of loss and because of things I’ve had to leave behind. I know that every tear that falls from my eyes is a memory forever etched in my mind.

I know what it is to learn. I may not learn as quickly or as efficiently as others but, I know the essentials.

I know that everyday is a new discovery and every rising sun hints at another chance to better myself.

I appreciate beauty. The way the sun sinks to the earth to give way to dusk is a sight I shall carry with me all the days of my life.

I know how to have fun. Crazy, reckless fun that leaves me senseless, breathless and gradually tints my cheeks with a rosy colored glow of complete and utter satisfaction.

I have experienced the wonder of words. Shelves filled to the brim with books that allow me to explore this world as well as the next. Words that shield my eyes from the pains of reality and allow them to awaken in Utopia even if it’s just for a fraction of a moment. All this happens with nothing more than a few sheets of paper bound tightly in leather and written in ink.

I know how to make choices. Granted, they’re not always the right ones, but I know that in every path I take, there is always a lesson waiting for me at the road’s end.

I am aware of the dangers of taking risks. I also know that sometimes, risks are crucial. They build character and they push you to leap when you would otherwise just sit in the corner and watch life pass you by.

I have faith. I have faith in people and faith in myself. When that isn’t enough and I feel like all is lost and times are dark, I put my trust in the Lord and in his promise of salvation. I know in my heart that he will never fail me.

I know how important it is to dream but, I also know the difference between living your dreams and living IN a dream. You should never get those two mixed up for they could not be more different. One offers you the world, the chance to explore the inner depths of your being and shine brighter than the stars. The other will give you nothing but grief and a longing for something you can never have.

And last and most importantly, I know how to love and am loved in return. I have been blessed with such an amazing family. They are a reflection of me and of who I want to be. They are proof that love, so compelling and boundless, exists in the real world and not just in fairy tales. I know that without family and without love, there is no life.

So there… I may not be able to explain the world and how it works in so many complex words like Einstein, nor am I capable of answering mathematical questions in an instant but I do know some things… They may not mean as much to you but, they mean the world to me. If that makes me stupid, then I don’t want to be smart…